Eurozone economic activity grew at its fastest pace in nearly seven years in December according to a survey of the region's purchasing managers, published on Thursday.
Thanks to strong economic performances from core eurozone members Germany and France, growth in new orders in manufacturing and services, the composite purchasing manager index (PMI) rose to an 82-month high in December.
The composite index rose to 58 from 57.5 in November, surpassing expectations of a dip to 57.2 in the final month of the year.
The manufacturing index rose to a record high of 60.6, up from November's 60.1 and beating analysts' expectations of a dip to 59.8.
Growth in new orders expanded at the fastest pace since April 2000 was buoyed by export orders rising a rate only marginally below November's record high.
Job creation remained robust with a record gain in factory payrolls, but backlogs in uncompleted orders underlined the strength in demand.
The service sector PMI rose to an 80-month high of 56.5 in December, up from 56.2 in November and beating forecasts of a dip to 56.
Growth of new business in the services sectors was at the joint highest rate in more than a decade thanks to a "broad-based" improvement in demand, IHS Markit, the compiler of the report, said.